“Truthfully, I wasn’t a motorsport fan as a child,” says Nobre ahead of next week’s Wales Rally GB. “Of course I admired Nelson Piquet and Ayrton Senna but I never thought about becoming a driver so my idols were mostly football players. Probably my biggest idol was Toninho Cerezo, the striker of Palmeiras in Sao Paulo who was very big around the end of the 1970s.
“Like 99 per cent of the male Brazilian population, my dream was to be a football player. It would have been my dream to play for my favourite team, Palmeiras. I have played football all my life, not professionally of course, but I also like to snowboard and wakeboard. When I was a child I also played basketball, volleyball and tennis. To be honest, I love all types of sports but I never imagined that I would one day become a rally driver.
“I first got into rallying after I saw the Japanese driver Hiroshi Masuoka who was my idol. In the 2001 Dakar Rally he did not give up even though he was driving on only three wheels at the end. In 2001, I started competing in rallycross in Brazil. Then in 2003, I tried rallying to improve as a driver. I shortly became addicted, my first rally car was 1.6-litre Peugeot 206 and I have loved rallying ever since.”
"It would have been my dream to play for my favourite team, Palmeiras"